Elwood M. “Big Woody” Marcks
Prominent local businessman
former NFL player passes away
Elwood M. “Big Woody” Marcks, 76, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania died Sunday at the Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. He was a courageous businessman, son, brother, father, grandfather and husband.
Marcks was born on the East Side of Allentown, Pennsylvania to local bar-owner and Marine veteran Elwood O. Marcks and Evelyn (Synder) Marcks. Marcks learned early in life that when you get knocked down, you need the courage to get back up.
In high school, he excelled as an athlete on the Dieruff High School football and wrestling teams and was acknowledged for his agility as a man of his physical stature standing at 6'3 and weighing 275 pounds. This feature resulted in his lifetime nickname, “Big Woody.” He soon became a young husband and father and prioritizing his new family’s needs, dropped out of high school, and hustled by working odd jobs to make ends meet.
At just 18, Marcks played semi-professional football for the Harrisburg Capitals. However, a defining moment in Marcks’ life was when he took initiative and pursued his NFL dreams by trying out for the Philadelphia Eagles. After a tryout, Marcks signed with the Philadelphia-based NFL team. Shortly after, he injured his ankle in a practice game and retired.
Marcks persevered into a new destiny. Like his father before him, Marcks went into business in pursuit of the American dream. From starting businesses in concrete to pizza to ice cream to car lots to bars, Marcks continued to prove his ambitious skillset as a business owner. Most recently, Marcks was a proprietor within the family-run sports bar chain “Big Woody’s.”
Those who knew him will attest to his brutal sense of humor, pride, flaws and courage in the face of adversity. He is survived by his wife, Kym Marcks; son, Justin Marcks both of Bethlehem, PA; mother of his first 5 children, Karen Marcks of Allentown, PA, and children Doreen Lustick and husband David Lustick (d. 2016), Elwood Marcks Jr. and wife Amy Marcks, Troy Marcks (d. 1972), Chad Marcks and wife, Rochelle Marcks, and Trev Marcks of Allentown, Pennsylvania; 11 grandchildren, Veronica Lustick (d. 1992), Dakota Lustick, Avalon Lustick, Troy Lustick, Mackenzy Marcks, Olivia Marcks, Nolan Marcks, Chase Marcks, Trent Marcks, Madison Marcks, and Gracie Marcks; 3 siblings, Annette Hughes and husband Harold Hughes, William Marcks (d. 1973), and Michael Marcks Sr. and wife Melissa Marcks.
In lieu of a public service, donations in Marcks’ honor can be made to Last Chance Ranch at 9 Beck Rd, Quakertown, PA 18951. The family will hold a private ceremony at a later date. Marcks' arrangements have been entrusted to the Cantelmi Long Funeral Home, Bethlehem. A memory tribute may be placed at www.cantelmifuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elwood M. “Big Woody” Marcks, please visit our floral store.
Last Chance Ranch
9 Beck Road, Quakertown PA 18951